he thinking? What did Lott expect others to think when he invoked 1948, not exactly a banner year in America's trudge toward racial harmony, and a political platform that was racist by any other name? One struggles for a plausible explanation. Granting Lott the benefit of the doubt - that he is not a knuckle-dragging racist blockhead - the most likely explanation is that Lott simply wasn't thinking at all. He didn't mean it. It was just a gaffe. On the other hand, as Michael Kinsley once noted, a gaffe is when a politician is honest. No, no, I stick by my original theory. He's a Democrat, a plant programmed to say extraordinarily stupid things in order to burst the Republican Party's post-election bubble and provide the reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton a full deck of race cards to play until kingdom come. There can't be any other explanation. Nobody's that dumb. Surely.